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Standing pat? The political landscape in Texas as early voting continues

Hello All,

As promised over the weekend, I'm back with a short email containing a couple of pointers toward new posts focused on the election in Texas as the last full week of the 2022 campaign gets under way. 

We just posted a look at the political context in Texas that goes beyond the trial ballot results that are accumulating in our poll tracker. The piece boils down to asking: After all that has happened in the state over the past two years, are a majority of Texas voters really ready to stand pat on Election Day?  It appears so, based on the contextual data. We explore why this seems to be the case, with the usual caveats. There could be big things going on beneath the surface that polls either aren’t picking up or are misestimating, and, of course, the election is still unfolding, with many votes yet to be cast, ads to be run, campaign war chests to be spent, and, potentially, unanticipated major events that could affect the dynamic. But data from our polling points toward a more or less status quo preserving election in Texas, particularly when you look at the contextual data on Texas voters’ attitudes.

Polling and voting data suggest that as of early October, there are no apparent signs of a significant disruption to the status quo in electoral trends in the state, and signs of shifts in a more typical direction compared to 2018, which took place in a very different electoral environment. While the statewide polling shows the more or less usual amount of variance in statewide trial ballots (which allows observers with axes to grind to cherry pick results to fit whatever point they are hacking at), neither those results nor, more importantly, the contextual data suggest major tectonic shifts in the political system.

Those for whom state politics is either vocation or avocation habitually look for leading indicators of the state of play in early voting totals. We’ve updated our usual early voting graphics that track daily totals in the top 15 counties and compare the daily vote totals with past data, and have created a new page for that data. The page flags various factors to keep in mind in reading press accounts and interpreting results (including changes in the early voting period, the exceptional nature of voting in the last two elections, and more). It also features graphics that we’ll be updating as results are published by the Secretary of State.

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween, filled only with the good kind of scary. There’s plenty of the bad kind going around already.


Jim Henson
Executive Director, The Texas Politics Project
College of Liberal Arts / Department of Government
The University of Texas at Austin
The Texas Politics Project
Copyright © 2022 The Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin, All rights reserved.

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